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 Post subject: Marcus..
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:15 pm 
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My post addressed "my" experiences only. Do you find it objectionable that I ask the questions about "experience" as part of my being able to understand where someone is coming from and perhaps why we don't agree on a subject?

I admitted that my early teaching methods didn't address many issues and based on my early mistakes I've modified many things.

The post reflected how those early lessons also helped me understand things that perhaps someone with little teaching experience might miss.

Not "insulting" anyone as you are insinuating.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:22 pm 
Quote:
And most importantly, how many of your average students live normal, happy lives and will probably be able to fend off an attack by your average bad guy and... when discovering they wet their pants and had stumbled after being nailed in the face with a haymaker, smiles and says, OK, you want to play?


Must of interpreted the wrong tone ......

I`ll just disagree , and assume you werent meaning me or my students .

i used my skills on a proffessional basis on the weekend , as did one of my students , we are fine thanks .

And George even though we seem to butt heads on many issues , I wont take any disagreement personally , methods not individuals mate !!!

your experience speaks for itself .


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:05 am 
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Quote:
I'm trying to keep an open mind in all these discussions, but still feel that only a small percentage of people possess the ability, whether learned or hard-wired, to modify their flinch. At best, we can become comfortable with the fact that we might react differently than what we would like.


Most likely true. We have written before that it is all about the person and not the style or even training method in most cases.

I know some people down the North End of Boston, who cannot even spell karate, yet they will have most of us for lunch in a street fight.

Quote:
I've had really tough fighters in my dojo, all who held their own in the roughest type of sparring imaginable…. They were so overconfident in their ability to fight that when they were overpowered in the initial fury, they lost all their confidence and will to fight!


Also true. It depends on who, and what they were to begin with, and what their senseis programmed them with _in actual belief. Some senseis are quite adept in selling ‘king Kong’ Uechi prowess. The ‘King’ thought he was unbeatable, but he learned the hard way there is no such thing. So, if anyone is to blame, it is the teacher who initially develops a delusional student.

I have presented the story of a real good fighter, being programmed by his Uechi sensei with…you violate my sanchin and you are dead..Ending up frozen as a Popsicle when attacked and nearly killed by multiple assailants. His father had thoughts of getting a lawyer and suing the dojo.

Then there are people like Bob Campbell, Jim Maloney, Art Rabesa, Bob Bethoney, among many others_ who have totally destroyed their real life attackers. Take Clarence, he didn’t even wet his draws at all..He charged a loaded gun. How many of us could do that, notwithstanding ‘all is in sanchin’_

What made these ‘Star fighters’ of the tough tournaments of the sixties, including full contact champions, such as Clarence and Bethoney, destroy their opponents in real life defense?

Quote:
And most importantly, how many of your average students live normal, happy lives and will probably be able to fend off an attack by your average bad guy and... When discovering they wet their pants and had stumbled after being nailed in the face with a haymaker, smiles and says, OK, you want to play?


Yes and no.

It has to do with definitions..What is the definition of an average student?

Who is an average bad guy? What does he do? How does he do it?

What is an average attack? What defines 99% of street attacks? What happens 99% of the times?

What makes the ‘average attacker’ stop after throwing the haymaker, giving enough time to the average student, to compose himself and say ‘OK, you want to play?’

Let’s review this_

….real life street fights attacks…

1. Most assailants win not because they have had any training but because they explode into the offensive and close relentlessly.

2. Most karate people have never been punched in the face and tasted their own blood, much less swallow their own teeth.


3. The truth is street attacks occur very quickly through the denial stage, usually multiple opponents, and with a variety of weapons suddenly appearing. Look at what happened in the “Alley” when two of our /Uechi brothers were overwhelmed on the way out of the restaurant.


4. One way, a predominate one, is for a forceful, two-handed shove backwards with the attacker maintaining contact as the victims stumbles backwards, followed with eye gouges, punching and slapping, the victim being made to retreat while overwhelmed through momentum.

~~

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:35 am 
I`m of the mindset that those that cant make the high percentage stuff work , cant make the low percentage stuff work .

Some just cant fight and need more work . I beleive everyone can improve , wether they ever become compitant is irrelevant , at least they will have a better understanding of real violenece and there limitations and needs to survive .

I could get knocked out and kicked to death by a punch i never saw coming ....

If you cant engage from the flinch you wont engage from the flinch , best be aware of what you cant do before you need too . Best aim to correct the engagement mindset , or youll freeze up like a possum in the headlights .

or back yourself into a corner , pants full of proverbial , wondering why your not referencing your training .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 6:22 am 
George:

I have to admit that mistakenly in my first read of your post it came across to me the same as it did to Marcus. However, that was evidently not your intent so let’s get into the meat of it.

I do not think that the “flinch” is as hard to modify as is claimed and I refer to the opening post. Now be it reaction or be it flinch, at this point I could care less and I am willing to let anyone word it as reaction rather than flinch it that works for them. All I want is to affect “what we do.” Which is the goal of all Karate training.

I just look at the simple fact. We can train most physically able people to react in a car to avoid those “oh $hit” moments, and this is without real hard core training in self protection driving, but some how this ability flees us when it comes to Karate. I just do not think so. Therefore I humbly disagree with your assessment.

I try very hard not to pass on any false confidence to my students which is probably why my training has taken the different path it has. I feel my previous line of training lead directly to false confidence but let us not take that conversation anywhere please everyone.

I focus on four things in training now:

1. Kata: continuous attack minded with power generation.
2. Conditioning and toughness: Trying to generate the mindset to go through whatever you have to and survive.
3. Applying the principles of kata: Done through numerous progressive drills taking a base principle from set up to complete impromptu and resistive drills
4. Understanding: They have to be able to explain why the principles work and how to apply them with effectiveness.

This may be more in line with your similar move away from cooperative drills and the focus on attacking the attack: “we spend far more time doing "attacking the attack" techniques than "cooperative" drills.” This sounds very very familiar to what I am trying to do.

“How many of us can live with the shame of pissing our pants while cowering in a ball when surprise-attacked. . . after convincing ourselves that we had "mastered the flinch". “

Don’t know George. Perhaps I will have to work a student through this some day or myself. For me, been there and haven’t done it – yet. Never say never though. Bad things can happen to anyone and I certainly have not been in the worst case situations or even really bad ones for that matter, so who knows.

”Much of my teaching has evolved, based on what works and what doesn't work for "average" people. That is why I keep asking those who feel they have the answers: "How many students have you taken from novice to expert? How many of those experts are in fields where their lives depend on the skills you taught to them?”

Guess we will just do our best to discuss and train with what we have George. On the other hand I know a few folk with lots of students that I care little for their opinions -- so????

I freely admit I have a small school and have not been at long so PLEASE everyone take what I say with a grain of salt and question everything.

In fact this questioning should extend to anyone and everyone regardless of number of students, rank etc.

Yes, folks question what I say.

Do not take it as gospel.

For goodness sake get out of the cult mode and take nothing anyone says here or anywhere (your dojos too) at face value.

Test it as best you can.

Try out the suggested training drills from everyone and see what YOU think.

I guarantee it is not that hard to separate the crap from the good and whatever you decide is at least what you have decided works best for you.

But we can only post with what we have and the experience we have. I know some folk who post here and what they have been through and what they can do. I have crossed arms with them so I have drawn my own conclusions.

But most of you don't know me other than by cyber space so PLEASE question and test.

So George, like you have posted right here, right on this forum, right on this thread, you/we saw the flaws in certain training and are working to make the training effective for us. You clearly have posted you have done the same.

And as for where you have taken the training I am sure we would all love more clips of what you do George.

As you have seen here your clips have all be welcomed with appreciation and positive responses.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:06 am 
isnt this whole conversation moot

even if you cant react you flinch and cover , or back up ... isnt by definition what we train is what to do next ?

why do we need to train people to back up and flinch when they do it naturally and it cant be reprogrammed .

Isnt the only thing we can do in this situation is train what to do next ?

when we recover , if we recover what do we do ?

I personally want to attack from the flinch , if I cant attack with the flinch .

the primary importnace being to attack !!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:13 am 
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I'm just trying to answer these in the context of experience and what applies to training people that don't have that experience.

"even if you cant react you flinch and cover , or back up ... isnt by definition what we train is what to do next"

I think one of the first steps in training is to make people aware that they might end up flinching and covering, or backing up. And that it's okay, you can still survive after that. Survival isn't cut and dried like performing a kata. Most people out there don't know the first thing about being attacked in a life threatening manner, they don't know that it is natural to flinch, cover up, back up in the face of something they have never encountered. So, by definition what we should be training for someone like that is the reality that will most likely occur. Instead of just standing there with your arms crossed and a severe look on your face, saying "In karate, you must attack." That doesn't help someone who only knows about violence from the movies.

"why do we need to train people to back up and flinch when they do it naturally and it cant be reprogrammed .

The idea isn't to train people to back up or flinch, it is to give them something to work with while they are backing up or flinching. In other words, linking the counter-attack with what will probably happen, which is flinching and retreating in the face of something that is probably unfamiliar and overwhelming to most students of martial arts.

"Isnt the only thing we can do in this situation is train what to do next ?"

Nope. As a matter of fact the most important thing is to educate people in what will happen to them mentally and physically and let them know that it's perfectly normal to experience these things and they can survive if they follow their instincts, have faith in their training and natural ability.
I'll even go further and say that it is totally wrong to tell someone who comes to you for self defense training (not LEO or military) what they should do. Just give them familiarity and competence with instinctive and effective movements. Just take a moment to reflect on the fact that sometimes real lives (wives, children, husbands, brothers, sisters, etc...) are saved by people fighting to (gasp) escape from a predatory attack.

Actually this whole thing is a real heartbreaker, because no karate teacher can truly prepare their student for a viscious predatory assault. Sorry.

I have had a few first hand experiences, that have totally changed every aspect of my martial arts training. I know for a fact that no teacher or training method could bring me to the level of understanding that I have now. I can honestly state that those experiences have only made me appreciate and see the truth in my training more than I could ever have without them. It's a double edged sword though, because I know without any shred of doubt that if I am ever put in the same state of adrenaline and naked terror as before, everyone that is perceived as a threat to my or my loved ones' lives will die very quickly. I can't really emphasize how certain I am of this, but there it is. I can only hope that in such a situation, my actions don't lead to incarceration and/or self torment.

The combination of my experiences, some of the "people" I have been around, and second hand stories too numerous to mention have made me the kind of person that looks at your average normal person as totally uncomprehending of reality. But I could just be maladjusted and paranoid, oh well.

I have to realize that anyone I might teach karate to just will not have the same point of reference that I have, and won't stick around too long if I try to force them to accept my viewpoint.

Anyway, it's important to seperate what you might have experienced from what can be useful to someone that comes to martial arts without any "baggage".

If you're going to teach martial arts as a means to uphold your sense of honor in a consensual duel to the death, fine. If it involves self defense for normal people who might be attacked by a predator, or how about several predators with weapons, then it's time to look at something beyond tactics to dominate in a "fight".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:08 pm 
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fivedragons wrote:
I think one of the first steps in training is to make people aware that they might end up flinching and covering, or backing up. And that it's okay, you can still survive after that.


Yes you can survive after that if you train folks to attack, how to attack, and use attack in a manner that has a good chance of turning the threat(s) into hamburger. Rick has discussed training recovery, meaning learning to attack after you have already been attacked, this is a key point in addressing recovery.

BUT, if you simply tell folks they can survive the flinch and stop there then you have not even begun to address the flinch in training. Training ordinary folks to take action is the key, many folks do not naturally know how, when or why to take action, in order to take control and survive. If you do not teach folks these things then you have not even given those folks the most basic means of survival and you have not lived up to your obligation as a MA teacher. The idea is to try and turn those folks who may not be natural killers in to empowered people who understand how and why and when to create and use that killer instinct in order to take action and do it ASAP.

fivedragons wrote:
Most people out there don't know the first thing about being attacked in a life threatening manner, they don't know that it is natural to flinch, cover up, back up in the face of something they have never encountered.


That's right and that's why hard training, scenario training, addressing "the dump" etc in training is used to desensitize folks to attacks and to show them and empower them by giving them a clue as to how to take action and attack to survive.

fivedragons wrote:
So, by definition what we should be training for someone like that is the reality that will most likely occur.


What most likely will occur is a gastly and ruthless attack by one or more folks possibly armed. If there is no escape then the only way out will be through those threats. However you want to slice it the ONLY way out will be to take out those threats and any real study will deal directly with taking out the threat(s) and again that must mean taking action not inaction or hesitation, but the action of attack, the main study being how to best go about that task.


fivedragons wrote:
Instead of just standing there with your arms crossed and a severe look on your face, saying "In karate, you must attack."


So someone suggested that in a SD situation you should stand there like a tough guy and quoting the heretics on this board?

This statement seems to suggest that those who advocate attacking when there is no escape as a tin horn tough guy move, a facade of toughness that is draped in the cowardess of inaction. No such thing here dude, THAT’S what we’re trying to avoid.. The need to attack, to train attack, to study a sensible way to do that, and all of the little things that go with it is not trained or advocated for the sake of ego, far from it, the need to attack is as strong as the need for survival. If folks don’t want to survive and don’t want their students to have the best chance of survival then don’t teach them attack, teach them to flinch and curl up into a ball and be good little prey animals.

When faced with a predator and no escape the would be prey had better become a predator and the only way to turn prey into a predator is to give them razor sharp teeth and claws and show them how to put them to use as best they can. If you don't think that's possible then spending hours explaining to students that they will flinch when faced by "Jason" probably won't help them much either when it comes time to take action.

fivedragons wrote:
The idea isn't to train people to back up or flinch, it is to give them something to work with while they are backing up or flinching. In other words, linking the counter-attack with what will probably happen, which is flinching and retreating


This IS what is taught.. Cover moves are taught that use the flinch and convert into attack ASAP. You train to convert SOONER and BETTER by FOCUSING on the ACTION, not on INACTION or lack of ACTION; Or by consoling folks, holding their hand and telling them how they will freeze up, poop their pants and never be able to look the boogieman in eye let alone kill him in order to save the family – best all those folks just invest in good insurance plans and take up a healthy interest in praying for deliverance, right? Well we say <loud buzzer sound here> NO!

fivedragons wrote:
Nope. As a matter of fact the most important thing is to educate people in what will happen to them mentally and physically and let them know that it's perfectly normal to experience these things and they can survive if they follow their instincts, have faith in their training and natural ability.


Well that sounds good for the first hour; The tough part and meat of the issue comes when you work to giving those folks the tools to survive through sound training, just like the LEOs and military folks are given – tools to be used for survival vs. just tossing the dice, it really just common sense, so long as what is taught also makes sense – see attack.

fivedragons wrote:
I'll even go further and say that it is totally wrong to tell someone who comes to you for self defense training (not LEO or military) what they should do.


So LEO or Military can be taught "what to do" if that makes reference to some kind of paint by number training.. But not for civilians? Sorry, but that doesn't compute, if LEO need training and they do it all the time in their work then regular folks need more training not less..

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 Post subject: Communications..
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:22 pm 
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is difficult in this media. When I read something I've written, it appears quite clear, but when others read the same words, well.... apparently not what I meant.

1. My point about students who are trained to believe they are "prepared" and in a surprise/unusual situation, discover they got hit and reacted in a totally unexpected manner. . . Then "freeze" or become "unresponsive" because they were confused or in some other way, feel they were humiliated, let their teacher down, let themselves down, or experience emotional slap in the face.

I mentioned that because in the early days of my dojo, many of us believed our teachers and the hype that doing what we do will make us invincible. Of course, if one has never been in a real fight, they can go through life believing this. I was trying to explain in my earlier post, that I discovered early on that there were other factors involved in a fight that had nothing to do with one's physical training. A student had to also understand that no matter how good they thought they were, there was always someone "out there" who was better. No matter how "prepared" you thought you were, there could be situations where your best wasn't going to be good enough and you would get hit, find yourself on the ground and even pissing your pants. Nothing to be ashamed about, nothing that reflects on your training, your ability, your mindset or willpower.

It was at this point (mid 70s) that my approach to teaching changed and I began to explore areas of self-defense and mindset outside of Uechi. No question that Van played a huge role in this "reality check".

In my earlier post I may have assumed everyone knew what I was talking about, but apparently not. If anything, the post was a "knock" on what I was doing early on in the way I presented the Uechi "doctrine" and the reason things are so different today.

2. Ricks use of driving a car as an example of "learned reaction": My take on this is that an "attentive" driver is equal to my example of being in a sparring match. You can fight in a casual manner (Mohammad Ali style) while remaining alert to driving conditions. Your reflexes work without conscious thought, much in the same way your punches and kicks will work without conscious thought.

Now lets add changing stations on the radio while trying to negotiate a date on your cell phone while your kids (from a former marriage :)) fight in the back seat... well you get the idea.... when suddenly a car runs a red light, right in your path. Now you will get a "flinch" that won't look anything like the one where you are "attentively" driving.

Just my opinion Rick...

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 Post subject: 5 Dragons...
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:32 pm 
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Wow.... I took so long writing my last post that two more posts were included that I hadn't read. Your post is better written and much clearer than mine. . . and covered exactly the same areas I was attempting to clarify.

From now on, I'm just going to let you do my writing!

You must be a "chister"!:)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 10:55 pm 
Quote:
then it's time to look at something beyond tactics to dominate in a "fight".



could you please expand !! what do you mean by tactics ?

are you referring to phsychology ? , i always veiwed the engage mindset as a tactic , are we getting hung up on semantics ?

how does one dominate someone ina physical fight without tactics or agression ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 4:44 am 
Fivedragons:

Good stuff.

“Nope. As a matter of fact the most important thing is to educate people in what will happen to them mentally and physically and let them know that it's perfectly normal to experience these things and they can survive if they follow their instincts, have faith in their training and natural ability.
I'll even go further and say that it is totally wrong to tell someone who comes to you for self defense training (not LEO or military) what they should do. Just give them familiarity and competence with instinctive and effective movements. Just take a moment to reflect on the fact that sometimes real lives (wives, children, husbands, brothers, sisters, etc...) are saved by people fighting to (gasp) escape from a predatory attack.

Actually this whole thing is a real heartbreaker, because no karate teacher can truly prepare their student for a viscious predatory assault. Sorry.

I have had a few first hand experiences, that have totally changed every aspect of my martial arts training. I know for a fact that no teacher or training method could bring me to the level of understanding that I have now. I can honestly state that those experiences have only made me appreciate and see the truth in my training more than I could ever have without them. It's a double edged sword though, because I know without any shred of doubt that if I am ever put in the same state of adrenaline and naked terror as before, everyone that is perceived as a threat to my or my loved ones' lives will die very quickly. I can't really emphasize how certain I am of this, but there it is. I can only hope that in such a situation, my actions don't lead to incarceration and/or self torment.”

Sorry for making the long quote but these are excellent comments.

The point of our teaching is to do our best to prepare the student even knowing all the time nothing we do guarantees anything. But at the same time that does not mean we can throw any type of training out there because it does not matter.

It does matter.

What matters?

Arm them with “with instinctive and effective movements” for one thing.

We can teach them to survive and act through pain.

We can try to educate them as to the true nature of violence although no one can understand they can only intellectually picture if they come “to martial arts without any ‘baggage’.”

And we can explain the realities of fear and reaction and “let them know that it's perfectly normal to experience these things and they can survive if they follow their instincts, have faith in their training and natural ability.”

We can give them the methods to generate power, to hit hard. This we can do.

Jim:

“BUT, if you simply tell folks they can survive the flinch and stop there then you have not even begun to address the flinch in training. Training ordinary folks to take action is the key, many folks do not naturally know how, when or why to take action, in order to take control and survive. If you do not teach folks these things then you have not even given those folks the most basic means of survival and you have not lived up to your obligation as a MA teacher. The idea is to try and turn those folks who may not be natural killers in to empowered people who understand how and why and when to create and use that killer instinct in order to take action and do it ASAP.”

“You train to convert SOONER and BETTER by FOCUSING on the ACTION, not on INACTION or lack of ACTION”

Also excellent comments.

We also know there is no magic in the world and all we can do is try our best. We need to seek the best and most effective training we can. And all we have to judge this by is our training, our experiences and our guts. No crystal ball and nothing that says “this is the one true way.” We are but humans trying to do our best.

George:

“I mentioned that because in the early days of my dojo, many of us believed our teachers and the hype that doing what we do will make us invincible. Of course, if one has never been in a real fight, they can go through life believing this. I was trying to explain in my earlier post, that I discovered early on that there were other factors involved in a fight that had nothing to do with one's physical training. A student had to also understand that no matter how good they thought they were, there was always someone "out there" who was better. No matter how "prepared" you thought you were, there could be situations where your best wasn't going to be good enough and you would get hit, find yourself on the ground and even pissing your pants. Nothing to be ashamed about, nothing that reflects on your training, your ability, your mindset or willpower.”

Absolutely a true comment George.

We still are obligated to prepare them as best we are able even if that may fall short in the moment of truth.

“2. Ricks use of driving a car as an example of "learned reaction": My take on this is that an "attentive" driver is equal to my example of being in a sparring match. You can fight in a casual manner (Mohammad Ali style) while remaining alert to driving conditions. Your reflexes work without conscious thought, much in the same way your punches and kicks will work without conscious thought.

Now lets add changing stations on the radio while trying to negotiate a date on your cell phone while your kids (from a former marriage ) fight in the back seat... well you get the idea.... when suddenly a car runs a red light, right in your path. Now you will get a "flinch" that won't look anything like the one where you are "attentively" driving.”

Yeah anything can happen, George but at the same time the reaction can also still be a good one. I had this happen while trying to recover a jacket falling to my feet and having a person slam on their breaks in front of me when I glanced up. No “bad” flinch response I did just fine avoiding them. I do not doubt it could have been, or could be, different, but you can see why personal experience has me not in agreement with you.

And the more we train to do it right the more chance it “may” go right – yes?

I do not think there is a person posting on this thread that feels invincible or feels they are making their students invincible.

A hundred pound weakling could take us out with a hidden knife thrust as they walk by us in a crowd. Just a random attack that has happened in real life. No ninja secrets. No spider senses. $hit happens.

All we can do is seek the best training we can.

George it is that alternate path you followed that interests me and what you found gave you closer to what you were looking for. I know you have shared some of it over the forums but your experiences into what you found in searching this alternate path that worked best and what did not would be welcomed.

Again this is a great discussion. We don't agree but we are learning a great deal.

:D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:23 am 
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Stryke,

I was just trying to point out that while any area of training (kata, sparring, drills, bunkai, etc...) can help in imparting skills, confidence, attributes that can help in a survival situation, there are an infinite amount of variables, some bad, some potentially lifesaving if taken advantage of. Not putting down anyone's methods or strengths, just that no one approach is going to be universal to every student in every second of every experience.

Just that sometimes survival can depend on being open to all possibilities and trusting your instincts to lead the way. There are so many variables.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 9:20 am 
Ahh got ya thanks :D , thanks for clarifying .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 9:59 am 
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I should have expanded a little more. Physical environment as weapon, interference, tactical positioning. Improvised weapons/defensive tools, shields (clothing, articles at hand). Tactical use of attackers against other attacks. Traffic. Projectiles, distractions.

Fantasy example: knock trashcan over in front of attackers legs, angle away from weapon side while removing belt. Whip attacker's eyes with belt buckle, push kick to side of hips. Attacker falls over trashcan next to brick wall. Soccer kick to the ear, smack head off the wall. Run through momentary gap in traffic, run into business yelling to call 911, run out back door and circle back to corner, ascertain whereabouts of attacker.

None of this in training, but training will help in performing these actions if defender doesn't try to assume funny pose and think of the appropriate movement out of kata. :lol:


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